Why Russia is angry at America’s missile defense systems

THAAD and Aegis Ashore are defensive, not offensive systems


A key NATO missile-defense site in Romania on Aug. 9, 2019 completed a three-month upgrade process that had forced operators to take the system offline.

To fill the resulting gap in coverage, the U.S. Army in May 2019 deployed to Romania one of its seven Terminal High-Altitude Area-Defense missile-interceptor batteries.

The THAAD deployment was controversial.

The THAAD system set up within sight of the Aegis Ashore site in Romania. The Army and the U.S. Defense Department separately posted, then quickly deleted, at least one photo of the battery preparing for duty. Some websites preserved the photo.

THAAD antagonized the Russian government, just like Aegis Ashore has done. Russia “can’t understand what tasks the Aegis Ashore system will accomplish in the missile defense area,” Russian deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov said in late April 2019.

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